Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

An Open Letter from the Stop the War Coalition

DEMONISING MUSLIMS: AN OPEN LETTER from the Stop the War Coalition (UK)

There is an attempt to plunge this country into a racist hysteria of a kind we have not seen for a generation or more - directed against Muslims.

Recent weeks have seen a series of speeches by leading politicians designed to isolate and demonise British Muslims. These have been reflected in spurious news stories and, still more seriously, violence directed against Muslim people and places of worship.

In particular, we deplore the recent remarks by Jack Straw concerning the veil worn in public by some Muslim women. His intervention undoubtedly created the climate in which the racist attack on a Muslim woman in Liverpool took place. Likewise, the bullying attacks of John Reid have served only to spread fear amongst Muslims.

We further condemn the attempted fire-bombing of a mosque in Windsor - the latest in a number of such episodes nationwide - and note the failure of many commentators and politicians to condemn this outrage.

We express our solidarity with all British people of the Muslim faith and affirm their right to worship and dress as they please and to live their lives in peace and security.

The current wave of Muslim-baiting is rooted above all in the disastrous 'war on terror', of which this government has been such a prominent supporter. This war has made Britain more vulnerable, not less, to terrorist attack -- an uncomfortable fact from which ministers try to distract by attacks on the Muslim community.

If the government is concerned about improving the cohesion of our communities, let it first of all abandon its support for the foreign policy of the US administration, including the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

We call on all people of good-will to reject the anti-Muslim hatred being whipped up and to support the values of tolerance now under attack.

Stop the War Coalition has called a People's Assembly in London on Saturday 18 November to discuss Islamophobia and the 'War on Terror'. The assembly will be open to all and will aim to bring together the broadest possible representation from all sections of society. We will discuss how the attacks on Muslims are intrinsically linked to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how the anti-war movement can counter those attacks in its continuing campaign to end those wars.

TOPIC: Islamophobia and the 'War on Terror'
DATE: Saturday 18 November
TIME: 10am – 5.30pm
VENUE: Camden Centre, Judd Street, London WC1H 9JE

Also perhaps check out the interview with veteran anti-racist A Sivanandan in this weeks Socialist Worker, and obviously those not already regular readers of Lenin's Tomb should make amends.

Edited to add the heroic action taken by local members of the National Union of Journalists at the Daily Star.

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